JUNE 2009 Democracy &

Department of International Affairs Democratic Progressive Party
8F, No. 30, Pei-Ping East Rd. Taipei, Taiwan t. 886-2-23929989 ext. 306 f. 886-2-23930342 e-mail: foreign@dpp.org.tw web: http://www.dpp.org.tw

Campaign for the ECFA Referendum ------------------- p2 Letter from DPP Chairperson Dr. Tsai and the joint statement on the reform of the detention system, implementation of human rights in the administration of justice and an immediate end to the detention of former president Chen Shui-bian------------------------- p5 Diplomatic Truce and Cross-Strait Reconciliation: Diminishing Commitment of the Taiwan Government to Democratic Solidarity? ----------------------------------p8 Taiwan Redraws Administrative Zones --------------- p10 DPP Poll on Ma's policy of knowing the traditional but writing simplified characters, President Ma as the KMT Party Chairman” and Taiwan Economy and Employment-p11

Director: Hsiao, Bi-khim Deputy Director: Huang, Chih-ta Hsieh, Huai-hui Editor-In-Chief: Liu, Hsiaoching Editor: Michael J. Fonte

Campaign for the ECFA Referendum
Event blog: http://ecfa.pixnet.net/blog

DPP Chairperson Dr. Tsai Ing-wen’s Open letter to Taiwan’s “citizen/masters”

“Using Democracy To Protect Taiwan” is Our Only Choice
June 15, 2009 There are three reasons for the ECFA referendum. First, no matter what the content of an ECFA might be, it will determine the economic integration of Taiwan and China and is bound to change the future fate of Taiwan. This will have a vital, critical impact on our people and our children. Second, if we are successful in this referendum, it sets as a principle that any major future cross-strait agreement must undergo a citizens’ referendum and not simply be done by the government. Finally, the relationship of Taiwan and China is the source of the domestic political divisions. The best way to resolve these disputes is through a democratic mechanism.
We stand at the threshold of initiating a Taiwan referendum. We face a high wall, but we must be people who have the courage to climb this high wall. We must not lose heart. We need to get more than 80,000 initial sponsors to petition for this referendum, then 800,000 to support its being a ballot measure, and finally 8 million to vote on it in order to have it pass. This is indeed the strictest, most constrained referendum system in the whole world, thanks to the KMT Legislative Yuan majority forcing such a product on us. The referendum law we have was designed not to affirm the use of referenda but to block direct democracy. So many people are asking: why is the Democratic Progressive Party launching this referendum petition? Is it so necessary to demand that the government put the signing of an ECFA to a decision by a referendum? There are three reasons. First, no matter what the content of an ECFA might be, it will determine the economic integration of Taiwan and China and is bound to change the future fate of Taiwan. This will have a vital, critical impact on our people and our children. The power to decide something of this importance cannot be left solely in the hands of the president and a minority of the ruling class. Otherwise the public benefits of citizens will be transferred into the private gain of this ruling group.


Second, if we are successful in this referendum, it sets as a principle that any major future cross-strait agreement must undergo a citizens’ referendum and not simply be done by the government. Then the current “birdcage referendum” must be amended. The legal responsibility to call a referendum could be re-granted to the Executive Branch. Then, when the government wants to see a referendum pass, it would be willing to lower the high thresholds in the current referendum system. This would knock down this high wall we have now and allow citizens to have a more complete direct democracy. Finally, the relationship of Taiwan and China is the source of the domestic political divisions. The best way to resolve these disputes is through a democratic mechanism. Each party has its own approach and there could be no better way than to let the people judge the parties and their approaches. If the ruling group really is interested in selling out Taiwan, then only a democratic mechanism can serve to guard Taiwan as a last line of defense. This is what the Democratic Progressive Party advocates by the principle of “Use Democracy to Protect Taiwan.” The harsh reality is that it is extremely difficult to hurdle the high threshold for a referendum to pass. But if we give up and do not challenge this reality, with the exception of taking to the streets or a legislative struggle, what other tool do we have to check the power of this party-state-rolled-into-one-China-leaning president? Referendum campaigns in Taiwan have not become a common political practice. In fact there is something of a stigma attached to them. However, this ECFA referendum has to be distinguished from past referenda. First of all this will be the first Taiwan referendum campaign that will seek to be a check on Executive Branch power. Facing the Ma Administration’s “lean-toward-China” policy, even though the DPP launched a full-scale parliamentary and street protest campaign we were not able to block the flow of Ma’s policy. So a referendum is the only choice we have left. This is almost mortal combat – to show the power of the people to a government which ignores public opinion. Another difference is that in the past the referenda were initiated by the government about the government’s policy agenda. But this ECFA referendum agenda is 100% from the grassroots. Signing an ECFA has stirred the hearts of people about workers’ rights, about the very survival of small and medium sized enterprises and about the threat to our agricultural sector. This political agenda is a major source of controversy so the people are using the referendum to show that their choices are not the same as those of the government. Thus it gives this referendum a very unique democratic meaning and implication. This is why, if we want this referendum to pass, we have to take a different approach than in the past. Whether it is 1 million petitioners or 8 million voting, we will have to have people beyond the green-blue political lines participating. So it is necessary that this time the referendum campaign take the shape of a societywide one. We are organizing 100,000 people to be a vanguard to get the petition drive started. Once the Referendum Commission has accepted the petition as valid, this vanguard of 100,000 will use their network with each one garnering 10 voters so that we can get over the second hurdle in having a referendum put to all the people. If this one million strong force brings others out to vote on the referendum then we have a chance to hurdle the high wall of this birdcage referendum. This is a challenging task, even more daunting than getting 600,000 people out for our street demonstration of May 17th. However, faced with a president and ruling party that pays no attention to the people, we must rise up united and show our great strength. I can imagine that President Ma, who will soon have total control of the KMT party, the government and the military, will not welcome this referendum which challenges his cross-strait policy. There is no doubt that the KMT will again boycott this referendum even through the Referendum Review Committee under the Executive Yuan. However, as a democratically elected president, why would President Ma do this? If President Ma's policy does meet people's interest, why is he afraid of a people's referendum on his policy? If President Ma can support a referendum on whether to allow setting up a casino in Taiwan and even authorize that this referendum be exempted from the threshold requirements, why does he insist that there is no need for referendum on a policy, like ECFA, that has a much greater and long-term impact on our country? In fact, President Ma should welcome the referendum on an ECFA as backing for his negotiations with China. If a referendum becomes mandatory for an ECFA, Taiwan negotiators can take a more confident and firm position when fighting for Taiwan's best national interests instead of letting China have its way. Democracy is the most powerful weapon Taiwan has. If President Ma does not understand how to utilize this show of public opinion,


than it indicates not only that he lacks confidence in democracy but that he also despises the true voice of the people. I would like to invite every citizen/master of this country who has a heartfelt love of Taiwan to join our campaign. Faced with a roaring countercurrent of authoritarianism in our politics and economic overdependence on China, join us in this last line of democratic defense of our land, our Taiwan!

Polls show that…
81% of CEOs in Taiwan do not know what the ECFA is. (Common Wealth Magazine, May 2009) 85.9 percent of the public still had no clear idea about the contents of the accord, while 55.2 percent were worried about its impact on their lives. (Taiwan Thinktank Survey, June 2009) 63.7% of people thought that the ECFA would have an impact on Taiwan’s sovereignty, and that it should ultimately be decided through a referendum. (DPP Poll in March, 2009) 70.6 % of Taiwanese think there should be a referendum about an eventual Economic Cooperation Framework with China. And 71% agree that any important treaty should be put up to a nationwide vote. (Taiwan Thinktank Survey, June 2009) 89.2% believe the policy should be fully discussed and overseen by the Legislative Yuan, and 78.2% agreed that the ruling party should reach consensus with the opposition before negotiating deals like ECFA. ( DPP Poll in March, 2009) 80.2% opposed signing a cross-strait agreement, like ECFA, under the One-China Principle. ( DPP Poll in March, 2009)

Overview of the referendum system in Taiwan
The Referendum Act stipulates that to hold a referendum in Taiwan… Step 1: The signatures of 0.5% of eligible voters (approximately 80,000) must be collected to apply to hold a referendum. Step 2: The petitions are then to be sent to the Central Election Committee’s Referendum Review Committee for review. Step 3: If the proposal passes the review, the signature of 5% of eligible voters (approximately 800,000) must be collected within six months in order for the referendum to actually be put to a vote. If the proposal is rejected by the Committee, then administrative appeal can be filed with the Executive Yuan. Step 4: 50% of eligible voters (approximately 8,000,000) must vote on the referendum for the vote to be valid.

How Will We Do It? 100,000 strong “ECFA Referendum Vanguard” Campaign
Facing the high thresholds- whether it is 1 million petitioners or 8 million voting, we will have to have people beyond the green-blue political lines participating. So it is necessary that this referendum campaign take the shape of a society-wide one. Thus, we are now recruiting 100,000 volunteers (‘the ECFA Referendum vanguard’) to get the petition drive started. (“How to Join the ‘ECFA Referendum vanguard’?” http://ecfa.pixnet.net/blog/post/25573929) For this 100,000 strong vanguard, there are three major tasks: 1) Complete the collection of 100,000 signatures for the first stage petition required for holding a referendum;


2) Once the Referendum Commission has accepted the petition as valid, this vanguard of 100,000 will use their network with each one garnering 10 voters so that we can get over the second hurdle in having a referendum put to all the people. 3) Continue to push for the “Safeguard Taiwan! Oppose the ‘Lean-towards-China’ Policy” campaign among the people. This is a challenging task, even more daunting than getting 600,000 people out for our street demonstration of May 17th. However, it’s a process of civic education. Moreover, faced with a president and ruling party that pay no attention to the people, we must rise up united and show our great strength.

Letter from DPP Chairperson Dr. Tsai on Former President Chen Shui-bian’s Civil Rights
June 30, 2009 Dear Friends, I wish to call your attention to the attached statement, which I have co-signed with a number of prominent academics, lawyers and civic leaders, regarding the issue of former President Chen Shui-bian’s detention. A fair and independent judiciary is a crucial element of a strong democratic system, and public confidence in the impartiality of the judiciary is essential to strengthening its capacity. Unfortunately, instead of growing public confidence in the government’s efforts to prosecute official corruption, abuses of the system, as outlined in the attached statement, are eroding public credibility in judicial institutions. As leader of the political party that has championed democratic reforms in Taiwan for nearly three decades, it pains me to see that the Taiwanese people are losing confidence in the political impartiality of the judiciary, and that fundamental human rights and the integrity of Taiwan’s former president are vulnerable to abuses of the law. Although the attached statement is focused on the case of President Chen, his case is not an isolated one. I am also concerned that many more defendants have been subjected to similar treatment. I am further worried that this prolonged and unjustified incarceration of President Chen during the investigation period and trial is sowing the seeds of long-term public unrest and division. We are appealing, therefore, for President Chen’s human rights to be respected by the Judiciary and for his immediate release. As friends of Taiwan and observers of developments in Taiwan, you must be aware that since former President Chen’s arrest and incarceration incommunicado on November 12 last year, he has been detained for more than two hundred days. The signatories and I believe that his continued detention is unjustified and in violation of President Chen’s basic rights. For reasons highlighted in the statement, the impartiality of the judicial system is in doubt, and we believe that former President Chen is being deprived of the right to a fair trial. Furthermore, violations in the confidentiality of the investigation, and the selective leaking of unverified information regarding the specifics of the case to politicians and the press, further indicate a failure of law enforcement institutions to protect the rights of the defendant during the trial process. I have repeatedly urged the government to take seriously the responsibility of protecting the fundamental rights of the defendant, and to refrain from any political interference in the judicial process that insults the integrity

and basic rights of our former President. The fairness of President Chen’s trial will be indicative of Taiwan’s democratic progress, and the Taiwanese people will not tolerate growing abuses in the system. I also urge our international friends, especially those of you who have stood with us in the past through the more difficult years of fighting for democracy and freedom in Taiwan, to continue to stand with us as we demand a fair and just legal system. Sincerely, Tsai Ing-wen Chairperson

The joint statement signed by 10 lawyers, scholars, and civil right activists: calling for the reform of the detention system, implementation of human rights in the administration of justice and an immediate end to the detention of former president Chen Shui-bian
June 25, 2009
We firmly believe that an independent, impartial judiciary is fundamental to the rule of law for any democratic country. The legal responsibility for anyone in the justice system must be determined through a fair procedure, without any prejudice. Only then will decisions made by the courts have any credibility in society. Looking at our current “detention system," it is obvious that the prerequisites for detention are loose, and the period of each detention could last up to two months with the possibility of repeated extensions. This system has been abused to the extent that defendants are in actuality serving the penalty of incarceration prior to the trial. For a long time, this has caused irreparable damage to the personal freedom of defendants. Therefore, from a human rights perspective, there is an urgent necessity to launch a comprehensive reform and review of the shortcomings of the detention system. Since President Ma Ying-jeou has signed two international human rights conventions and related protocols, the administration should demonstrate its endorsement of human rights by the concrete action of implementing the spirit of those treaties in Taiwan's domestic law. We believe that human rights are priceless. To minimize the possible violation of human rights, judicial officials should be allowed to execute the power of detention only when the strictest prerequisites are met. Constitutional interpretation No. 653 by the Council of Grand Justices states the following: Detaining and placing restriction on the personal freedom of the defendant under criminal charge will isolate him/her from his/her family, society and career and have a detrimental impact on his/her personal rights, such as reputation and credibility. This is the most severe form of intervention regarding personal freedom, thus it should be used with extreme caution and only as the last resort for protecting the procedure. Unless all the prerequisites stipulated by law have been met to verify its necessity, detention must not be lightly exercised. However, the case of former President Chen has clearly illustrated that the legal rights of our former head of state have not been protected. This being so, how we can ever ensure that the rights of ordinary citizens will not be violated? We believe that the court decisions to repeatedly detain President Chen are unreasonable and unnecessary, and have severely damaged the credibility of our judicial system. The court has listed several actions by President Chen as reasons to extend his detention, such as: “Denying his guilt, publishing books, accepting visits from foreign press, reapplying for membership in the Democratic Progressive Party, and not feeling well." The court has also accused former President Chen of assaulting the justice system when he was simply exercising his litigation strategy of: “no confession, no plea, no summoning witnesses and cross-examinations." These reasons cited by the court are irrelevant to the legal prerequisites for detention: flight risk, destruction of evidence, alteration or fabrication of evidence, or conspiracy with any accomplice or witness. Besides, there were clear violations of the principle of “gesetzlicher Richter (法官法訂原則)" regarding the changing of judges. (In this case, the Presiding


Judge of the case Chou Chan-chun (周占春) was replaced in the middle of the trial by Tsai Shou-hsun (蔡守訓) and as soon as Tsai became Presiding Judge, he immediately reversed Chou's original ruling that there was no longer a legal necessity to detain former President Chen, and announced the decision to extend his detention period.) These controversies have raised public doubts about the neutrality of the judiciary. Indeed, President Chen has disappointed the society with his inability to handle the behavior of his family members, as well as his failure to manage separately his political contributions and his private property. His family members wired money abroad, thus failing his commitment to the people. However, no matter what verdict former President Chen receives or how history judges him, respecting his legal right to a fair trial should be fundamental value shared by our society. The mishandling of his case has highlighted the deficiencies of the system. The emotional likes or dislikes of the society toward the defendant should not be allowed to overwhelm our concerns about the system itself. An independent and fair judicial system that is trusted by the public should be a source of strength for the judiciary. A fair trial of former President Chen will fortify Taiwan's democracy. This long-term detention of President Chen has already created tremendous damage to the image and credibility of our judicial system. It has also created more divisions, confrontations and tensions within our society which will seriously endanger the development of Taiwan's democracy. Out of a need to cherish our democracy and protect justice, we call for the immediate release of former President Chen. The government should take immediate action to reform the detention system that has violated basic rights, as well as amend related laws, such as the Criminal Procedure Law. Before the laws are amended, the judiciary should execute its authority of detention with extreme caution to minimize the violation of the rights. We all hope that by starting from the point of protecting human rights, we will then promote judicial reform and thus the foundation of Taiwan's democracy will be strengthened. This joint statement was signed by a group of 10 lawyers, scholars, and civil right activists listed below: (in alphabetical order) Dr. Chen Chien-Jen (陳建仁), Professor, National Taiwan University Dr. Chen Hwei-Syin (陳惠馨), Dean, the College of Law, National Chengchi University Dr. Chiu Hei-Yuan (瞿海源), Research Fellow, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica Dr. Huang, Juei-Min (黃瑞明), Chairman, Judicial Reform Foundation Dr. Hsin-Huang Michael Hsiao (蕭新煌), Research Fellow,, Institute of Sociology, Academia Sinica Lee Yuan-chen (李元貞), Founder, the Awakening Foundation Dr. Lee Yuan-tseh (李遠哲), former President, Academia Sinica Wellington Koo (顧立雄), Chairman, Taiwan Bar Association Dr. Ku Chung-hwa (顧忠華), Chairman, Citizen Congress Watch Dr. Tsai Ingwen (蔡英文), Chairperson, Democratic Progressive Party


Diplomatic Truce and Cross-Strait Reconciliation: Diminishing Commitment of the Taiwan Government to Democratic Solidarity?
Since President Ma Ying-Jeou announced his policies of a diplomatic truce and cross-strait reconciliation, the DPP has been closely following the possible social, economic and political impact China would bring on Taiwan in this rapidly opening relationship. Therefore, in each newsletter, we provide our readers updates on Taiwan’s situation and the latest public polls on various issues. In November/December 2008, we reported the police violence and the restriction placed by the government on people’s freedom of speech during Chinese envoy Chen Yunlin’s visit, the Wild Strawberries Movement and our concern about the beginning of the political witch hunt of our party leaders and former officials. In January, Dr. Tsai received a Freedom House delegation to address those issues (with special emphasis on the government’s intention to amend the Assembly and Parade Law to further restrict people’s freedom of assembly by giving police more power to intervene). In February, Dr. Tsai announced that 2009 is the DPP’s ‘social movement year” and warned that ‘the current KMT administration is dragging Taiwanese society back to the old, conservative and autocratic society […] we have to keep up the dynamic energy of Taiwan’s democracy and to integrate with social powers (grassroots and civic organizations) to breathe along with society’. In March, we continued to call for transparency and accountability in the government’s ‘black-box’ cross-strait negotiations with China on important issues such as Taiwan’s participation in WHO and WHA, and the signing of a “Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, CEPA”. In May, after receiving no responses from the Ma administration on requests raised in two major rallies last year and two “Taiwan Citizen Conferences on National Affairs” in February and March, the DPP launched a large-scale demonstration on May 17 followed by a 24 hr sitin to protest the government’s amendments of the “Assembly and Parade Law”. In May and June, there were many important international human rights crises in Tibet, China, and Burma. However, the Ma government’s passive attitude or even ignorance towards those issues has caused us new worries. “We observed that there is a convergence between China and our government in terms of the political language they use and the alliances they made. This is really worrisome,” stated DPP Department of International Affairs Director Hsiao Bi-khim. “Taiwan's efforts to preserve the important assets of democracy, freedom and human rights have been affirmed by international society. While the Ma Administration is aggressively moving forward with crossstrait exchanges, President Ma not only does not make good use of this advantage to support the democratization of China and let democracy and human rights become the common language in cross-strait affairs, but, rather, he becomes an accomplice of the Chinese government's suppression on democracy and human rights. This is completely unacceptable .... We wanted to use Taiwan as a democratic model for China. But the way things are going, China may change Taiwan before we have a chance to change China”, she added. 1. Government intervened in the personnel of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy (TFD) and the operation of the Taiwan-Tibet Exchange Foundation (TTEF) to stop them from offering support to pro-democracy movements in Tibet.

It has been widely reported by the Taiwanese media recently that Ma administration intended to make major changes to the governing boards of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy to stop it from offering financial support to pro-democracy movements in China, Tibet and Cuba for fear of provoking China. The TFD was founded in 2003 under the DPP administration with the aim at promoting democracy and human rights around the world. DPP Spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang criticized President Ma’s attempt to please China at the expense of Taiwan’s international image. “He also sent the world the wrong message that Taiwan supports China's actions. This really seriously damaged Taiwan’s international image and credibility as a country that values and actively promotes democracy and human rights.” He also pointed out that supporting democracy and human rights should not be a partisan issue and should be free from political interference. He urged President Ma to respect TFD Chairman Wang Jin-pyng’s decision as well as TFD’s long tradition to keep the TFD a bipartisan thinktank. This news has drawn wide concern from civic groups both in Taiwan and the US. US House of Representatives Rep.Robert Andrews (D - NJ) wrote to US President Barack Obama asking him to urge President Ma Ying-jeou and his administration to “let the TFD do its useful work the way it has done over the past six years”, according to the Taipei Times on June 21 and 22. “Recently, news reports from Taiwan have come to our attention that the


administration of Taiwan’s President Ma Ying-jeou is planning to curtail the activities of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy, reversing the Foundation’s policies of supporting democratic movements in other countries on grounds that this may offend the autocratic government of the People’s Republic of China and replacing the TFD’s personnel with people sympathetic to this accommodationalist philosophy.” In his letter, Rep. Andrews expressed his concern that the Ma administration was seeking accommodation with China “at the expense of freedom and democracy, not only in Taiwan itself, but also in China and Tibet…. This would constitute another blow to Taiwan’s vibrant democracy.” Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), wrote to President Ma Yingjeou to call on him not to interfere with the structure and policies of the TFD. “The TFD has been able to fulfill its promise over the last six years because of two attributes that have also contributed to the NED’s success. The first is its independence and arms-length relationship to the government that have enabled it to carry out its mission free of political interference or control; and the second is a commitment to bipartisanship in its governance, so that no matter which party is in government, the operations and basic direction of the Foundation will remain constant,” he said. “I am concerned that such an overhaul could well compromise both the Foundation’s independence and the quality of its work. But I am even more troubled by the negative message it would send to those who have regarded the Foundation as an expression not of one particular partisan point of view but rather as an expression of the commitment of the people of Taiwan to democratic solidarity,” he added. Another case being unveiled by the local media is that the operation of the Taiwan-Tibet Exchange Foundation (TTEF), which was also founded under the DPP administration in 2002 with the aim of providing humanitarian assistance to exile Tibetan communities and facilitate contact between the Taiwanese government and the Tibetan Government in Exile, had been suspended since the KMT government took office last year and the foundation’s ongoing humanitarian aid projects halted. 2. President Ma remained silent at the 20 year-anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 and the recent arrest of Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo

Because of the publication of "Charter '08", China has detained well-known writer and democratic reform leader Liu Xiaobo for the past seven months. In June 24, the Chinese government went even one step further, arresting him on charges of "incitement to subvert state power." However, since last year when the Chinese government started to crack down on the “ Charter ` 08 " campaign, the Ma Administration has been silent. Ma Administration has also turned a blind eye to the Chinese government's suppression of those associated with the democratic reform movement in China. In his statement regarding the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989, President Ma even publicly affirmed the importance China gives to democracy and human rights.


Taiwan's External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral trade with the Burmese military junta

While growing voices from the international community call for heavier sanctions on the Burmese military junta, Taiwan's External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral trade with Burma on June 13, 2009 aimed at encouraging Taiwanese business to invest in Burma. DPP legislator Tien Chiu-chin and free Burma activists expressed their harshest condemnation of this trade pact. “As the international community condemns the military junta for its authoritarian rule and violation of human rights … our government seems to care more about making money than democratic values.” Instead of trying to establish closer economic relations with Burma’s military junta, Tien urged the Ma administration to support Burmese democracy activists. “President Ma should ask the military junta to release Aung San Suu Kyi and all political prisoners in Myanmar,” she added. Amnesty International Taiwan Chairman Chang Tieh-chih commented that with more and more Taiwanese people (especially students) caring about international human rights issues, what the Ma administration did was completely against the most prevalent opinion in Taiwan society. “What the Ma administration did was leading Taiwan, one of the most important democratic countries in Asia region, in a rollback of its democratic progress. This MOU is a shame to our country,” he said. Nyo Ohn Myint, Chairman of the International Committee of the National League for Democracy — Liberated Areas (NLD-LA) argued that the investment will only benefit the military junta and their family


members, not the people in Burma. He stated, “Today, the people of Taiwan enjoy democracy and freedom because many political activists sacrificed for the cause …. We do regret seeing that a few countries have only economic interest [in Burma] without considering how much the people of Burma have suffered.” He also added that because Taiwan wants to build a good relationship with China, it is also building a good relationship with China’s ally – Burma. “The Ma government should include democracy and human rights in the list of topics of cross-strait exchanges, so that interaction between Taiwan and China is based on the universal values of human rights and democracy. This should be a prerequisite for normal cross-strait exchanges. Only if there is democracy in China can the two sides find a common value system and thus there will be equality and normal exchanges between the two sides. If this condition is met, then and only then will Taiwan and China's development not be in danger of turning upside down overnight,” DPP Chairperson Dr. Tsai Ing-wen said. “The development of China's democracy and human rights will not only affect Taiwan but, over the next decade or two, will affect development and stability throughout Asia.”

Taiwan Redraws Administrative Zones
The Ministry of the Interior announced on June 24 its preliminary decision on restructure administrative zones across the island: upgrade Taipei County to ‘special municipal’ status and merge Kaohsiung City and Kaohsiung County, merge Taichung City and Taichung County, and, after additional review, merge Tainan City and Tainan County, while the proposed mergers of Chiayi and Yunlin counties, both of which are DPP-governed areas, were rejected. This proposal was approved by the Executive Yuan on July 2nd. According to the Local Government Law, a municipal city must have a population of more than 1.25 million and possess a special need in the development of its political, economic, and cultural arenas. Prior to this re-drawing of Taiwan's administrative map, the only two cities with municipal status were Taipei City and Kaohsiung City. These two cities split 43% of all allocated funding while the other 23 cities and counties received 39% in total. The upgrade paves the way for more financial support from the central government and political power for the local administration involved. The political implications of the plan are also significant, as the DPP and the KMT prepare for island-wide mayoral and country magistrate elections in December, and now elections for Taipei County, Kaohsiung County, Taichung County and Taichung City are postponed. DPP Spokesperson Cheng Wen-tsang criticized the postponement as unconstitutional and undemocratic. He called on lawmakers to file a request with the Council of Grand Justices for a ruling on the constitutionality of the changes. Cheng said the DPP always encourages equal rights for cities and counties as well as balanced development and fair allocation of resources for all regions. Merger and upgrades of local counties and cities would help each region develop economically on a greater scale as well as more effectively utilize the unique characteristics and advantages of each individual area. Thus the DPP encourages the merging of cities and counties in expansion into larger political entities when appropriate. However, the government should release records pertaining to the committee review and hearing on the 23rd, so society can understand the committee’s reasons for accepting certain proposals and denying others- specifically, the denial of the merger and upgrade of Chiayi and Yunlin counties. While the newly upgraded cities are entitled to more budgetary support from the central government than before, the government has ensured that support for the two existing municipal cities, Taipei and Kaohsiung, would remain at the same level. “The Executive Yuan would need to propose its budget allocation plan as soon as possible to explain how the government will manage the new budgetary demands in order to support the new municipal cities.” Cheng said.


DPP Poll
Ma's policy of knowing the traditional but writing simplified characters
(The survey was conducted on June 10 with sample size 708 and sampling error about ± 3.76% at 95% confidence level)

1. 75.6% of respondents opposed the statement: “President Ma Ying-jeou, in order to accelerate cross-strait cultural exchanges, intends to promote “know traditional, use simplified characters." 17.1 percent were in favor.

Even 67% of pan-blue supporters opposed the use of simplified Chinese characters.

2. 51.2% of respondents think that "know traditional, write simplified characters" is a preparation by President Ma for cross-strait unification, while 32.1 percent of people do not think so.
• •

76% of pan-green supporters believe that the use of simplified Chinese characters in writing is preparation for unification. 37% of pan-blue supporters have indicated similar sentiments while 50% oppose. A higher percentage of swing voters believe that the action is for unification, with 48% believing and 30% opposing.

3. 64.9% believe that President Ma Ying-jeou will lead Taiwan toward unification, and only 6.3% of people think he is moving toward independence. 28.8% have no opinion.

Among pan-blue supporters and undecided voters 57% think President Ma Ying-jeou is leading Taiwan toward unification.

President Ma’s role as the KMT Party Chairman
(The survey was conducted on June 10 with sample size 708 and sampling error about ± 3.76% at 95% confidence level)

1. 59.1% oppose President Ma Ying-jeou also being the KMT party chairman. 25% favor this development.

Of the swing voters, 55% oppose Ma concurrently being chair and president. 19% favor this proposition. Even pan-blue supporters have a higher percentage opposing Ma's Chairman position than agreeing (49%>44%).

2. 53.7% are not satisfied with President Ma Ying-jeou's performance, with 39.4% satisfied. Of these, 88% of pangreen supporters and 56% of the swing voters are not satisfied with the performance of President Ma Ying-jeou. 70% of pan-blue supporters are satisfied, 28% were dissatisfied.

Employment and the Economy
(The survey was done on June 15-16 with sample size 1174 and sampling error about ±2.9﹪at 95% confidence level)

1. Our survey indicated that the June unemployment rate is 11.54%, i.e. 1.46 million people are currently unemployed. 2. Those stuck in long-term unemployment (those seeking jobs for over a year or have been unemployed for that period of time) make up over half of those unemployed. As the overall unemployment time extends in duration and moves towards long-term unemployment, short-term unemployment has become a long-term problem in society. 3. District-wise, central Taiwan has the highest unemployment rate within the island (12.99%). 4. Unemployment among white-collar workers has slowed, but unemployment among blue-collar workers has worsened. 5. 44% of the respondents believe that the current unemployment situation has worsened compared to the end of last year, 35% believe it has improved and 12% said there is no difference.


6. 4% of the respondents felt that the government's last minute efforts to slow unemployment and to save the economy were “very effective, whereas 48% felt they were “slightly effective", 18% believed they were “not very effective" and 22% believed they were “completely ineffective". 7. 63% of the respondents felt that the government's current economic policies are very short-sighted, whereas 23% believe they have long-term benefits.